Win a Free Conference Pass to eTail West!

etail-west-img-2017This month we are offering retail professionals the chance to win a free full conference pass to the industry conference eTail West 2017, February 27 – March 2, 2017 at the JW Marriott in Palm Springs, CA.

eTail, launched in 1999, is the premiere multi-channel retail conference dedicated to supporting the growth of the retail industry through high-level networking and extensive thought leadership. eTail West was launched as part of the eTail Conference series to speak to the unique challenges facing retailers looking to grow their brand in the market.

To enter simply go to the WMA Contest page and enter. Learn more about this leading industry conference here.

 

eTail West 2017

etail-west-img-2017eTail West 2017
February 27 – March 2, 2017
JW Marriott, Palm Springs, CA
 
Wonder how Avon continues to be the leading social selling beauty company in North America? Come to eTailWest 2017 to find out! Download the agenda to learn all the details.
eTail, launched in 1999, is the premiere multi-channel retail conference dedicated to supporting the growth of the retail industry through high-level networking and extensive thought leadership. eTail West was launched as part of the eTail Conference series to speak to the unique challenges facing retailers looking to grow their brand in the market. Download the agenda to learn more: http://etailwest.wbresearch.com/agenda-mc

 

Attend Industry Conferences for Free!

This month, the Web Marketing Association is holding a drawing to win a free full conference pass to two outstanding industry conferences.

adtechnyad:tech New York – November 2-3, Javits Center NYC — From Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, innovators across industries converge to discuss the new era of advertising and marketing technology. This 20th Anniversary of ad:tech looks to be the most comprehensive yet with exciting hands-on exhibitions, invaluable learning opportunities, and the players reimaging the future of the industry.

nfiNetFinance Interactive – Nov 29-Dec 1, Carlsbad CA — The event for FS executives, NetFinance Interactive is the one-stop shop for digital and multi-channel thought leaders. It’s an event where you’ll learn, gain inspiration and find solutions for your business – all while building lasting relationships.

To enter either drawing or both, visit the WMA Contest Page before the end of day on October 25, 2016.

Redesigning an agency website – trying to outsmart your older self

If I’ve learned anything in the past decade of running a software consulting company, it’s that redesigning your own website is an extremely difficult endeavour, just for the sheer fact that you are your own client with extremely high expectations. This made me cautious to any undertaking that involved a redesign of our website.

It’s been 2,5 years since we last redesigned our website. The website we created in the winter of 2013 could still hold it’s own (even in todays terms of quality), and we were still getting a lot of compliments for it. Also, to be very honest, we could have managed completely fine as a business with the old one.

New vs. old Infinum website New vs. old Infinum website.

But, our team wasn’t happy with the current state of affairs and wanted to change things. The designers wanted to create a completely new look and feel. The developers weren’t happy with the code, mostly because we’ve increased our development standards so much since then.

Everyone just felt that we’ve improved so much over the past 2,5 years and that our website should show it. We recently celebrated the company’s 10 year anniversary and felt this was a good occasion to do a redesign. So we threw caution to the wind and went for it.

Who are we doing this for?

Whenever you approach a major task like a redesign, you need to have a clear idea of why are you doing it, and what are the business goals you want to achieve.

We set out with a simple, but important, process:

  • Analyzing existing website traffic – we went into Google Analytics and researched in-depth where our visitors are coming from and what pages are they visiting
  • Defining personas – who are our main visitors, why do they come to our website and what do they care about?

After that, we defined two primary personas that we’d be building the site for. All subsequent decisions would be made with these two personas in mind.

Two different personas Defining personas helped us focus our efforts during the entire redesign process.

  • The Client – someone who wants to build a digital product. He/she may be a manager at an established company, running their own startup or working at an agency. The Client is looking for a quality design/development shop that can build the product or work in cooperation with his/her team. The Client has a rough vision of the product and a dedicated budget.
  • The New Hire – someone who wants to work on building digital products. He’s interested in the type of work we do (iOS/ Android/ Rails/ JavaScript/ UX/ UI Design). He may have experience, he may be in college or he may work with different technologies and is looking for a career change. He’s laid back and wants to work with like-minded people.

Presenting the work

Probably the most important part of our website is presenting the work we do in the form of case studies. It’s one thing to say we do good work, it’s another to actually put it up on display.

From a branding perspective, we wanted each case study to be branded according to the clients (or projects) individual brand. If we were to present this work “inside” the Infinum website, the brand would be mixed up with the Infinum brand so we wanted to avoid that.

Also, we wanted to make it easy for the visitor to jump in and out of different case studies. We thought the idea of having a case study pop out, and then pop back in after you’re done viewing the case would do the trick.

The JavaScript team had their job cut out for them – to make the Zoomer work as the crazy designers imagine it.

For this, we built a custom case display system we call “Zoomer”. We prototyped the interactions and animations for Zoomer in Keynote and Adobe Flash (yes, Flash is still good for something) and we immediately fell in love with the concept. You can see it on our Homepage or in the Client work sections.

Our stuff

We do a lot of stuff internally that’s not billable client work. It’s either productized software (like Productive), education initiatives (like iOS/Android talks or Infinum Academy) or open source contributions.

We do this for a variety of different reasons:

  • it improves our internal processes
  • it improves our skill that we leverage later for Client Work
  • we use a lot of open source, so it makes sense to give back to the community
  • it’s fun to do so it’s kind of a creative outlet for us

Our old website didn’t talk about this part of Infinum enough, so we needed to change that. We created Our stuff where we will showcase this aspect of the company.

Careers

As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important Personas visiting our website is the New Hire. Our old website had the Careers section listed as a 2nd tier item, somewhere under the “About” section. We wanted to raise the importance of this.

More importantly here was to convey the work atmosphere, and the way we take care of everybody (gym, health checks, ..). So, an imperative here was to use only real photos, no stock photography. No bullshit, just the real stuff.

Selfies

And when it comes to real photos, it doesn’t get more real than this. For the People section, we wanted people to be able to express their own personality, so instead of doing professional photos of the crew, we told everyone to take a selfie of themselves.

What we learned from this is that we need to work on educating people what a selfie actually is.

Selfies

Can you spot the selfie imposter?

There’s no About page

Currently, our website doesn’t have an About page, and this is on purpose.

We figured it’s kind of stupid to have a special About page, since the whole website is basically about us. The best way to find out “About” Infinum is to:

I just hate lengthy mission statements and wanted to avoid talking about how great we are and let our work speak for ourselves.

Hiring us is now even easier

We improved our Request For Quote (RFQ) form to make it even easier to Hire us for any projects you might have. We scaled down the number of questions, while staying true to the facts we need to know before engaging in a project:

  • About you and your business
  • About your project
  • Your deadlines
  • Your budget
  • Your target audience

The typography

A lot of thought went into selecting the right typography. This was also a mini rebranding event for us since we’re changing our base typography set.

We wanted to choose a clean typeset, but also one that has character and that would leave an impact. The idea was to avoid trendy and overused fonts like Futura, Circular and Proxima. Those are some great fonts but we wanted to try something different.

Typography considerations

A couple of typography versions we considered before reaching our goal.

After bouncing around a couple of ideas and testing a number of different fonts, we fell in love with the monolinear geometric grotesque typeface GT Haptik. It has a regular and rotalic style, and includes alternate versions of certain characters (like G, C etc…) that also have a strong influence on optical legibility.

Alternate character versions

Alternate versions of certain characters we use.

A continuing story

We wanted a feeling of continuation on each page, so after you get to the bottom of a page, you can continue the story by following the prominent links in the page footer. We wanted to emphasize this with extra-snazzy page transitions, and this is the part where the designers really pushed our JavaScript developers to the limits.

Extra snazzy page footer animations.

The backend

For the backend, we use a custom CMS. Apart from serving blog posts, it also handles RFQs, Client surveys, Event signups and a couple of other doo-dads. All the copy editing is done via Phrasing, making it simple to tweak any wording when we feel like it.

We use Amazon Cloudfront to serve our images quickly to visitors and also Google PageSpeed Module for further optimization.

Phrasing in use on the Infinum website

Phrasing is an open-source library for live editing copy on websites.

The frontend

The old website was built on Bootstrap because…well, everything was built in Bootstrap back then. In the meantime, Bootstrap proved not so great at doing everything, so we ditched it and went with a custom set of frontend technologies that would be more flexible and easier to maintain in the future.

We didn’t want one big CSS/JavaScript framework that solves everything, but rather a loosely coupled set of different libraries, each great at its job.

As an example, some of the techniques we used include:

  • SUSY – the subtext for this project says it all – “CSS Libraries are a bloated mess of opinions about how to do your job. Why let the table-saw tell you where to put the kitchen?”
  • Lazyr – Lazy loading of images keeps everything running smoother, especially on mobile
  • BEM methodology – Block Element Modifier is a methodology, that helps you to achieve reusable components and code sharing in the front-end.
  • SVG images – all around we use Scalable Vector Graphics. This especially makes sense on retina displays.

The result

It took us about 2.5 months of working on the website in tandem with client work to get it out the door. We launched the beta version at our 10-year anniversary party. A couple of our closest friends and partners got a glimpse, gave us feedback, and we improved on that feedback.

The team behind the website

The team behind the new website on stage at the Infinum 10-year party

The devil is in the details, and there is a bunch of special details scattered all around the site for you to find. We don’t want to give anything away, so browse for yourself and explore.

We hope you like it, and if you have any comments, drop us a line at hello@infinum.co.

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Win a free book from the Web Marketing Association

Enter to win a copy of Domains 360, A new book about the Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names by Peter Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine.

domainsBookcoverDomains 360 provides a road map for success, offering not just an explanation of why domain names are so important to the digital ecosystem or how anyone can profit from an investment in them, but also incredibly practical guidance on how to choose them and powerful insights on ways in which you can make the most of domain name assets while they are under your control. The domain name space is an exciting one – full of potential and opportunity, and Domains 360 provides the insights necessary to accelerate success when it comes to buying and selling domain names for profit.

To enter, visit the WMA Contest Page before Friday, September 23rd.

Win a full conference pass to ad:tech New York

adtechNY-logoThe Web Marketing Association is please to be able to offer a full conference pass to leading industry conference ad:tech New York (November 4-5) to web professionals who enter this drawing.

Visit our WMA drawing page to enter. The deadline for entering is Thursday, October 29th at 5pm EST. Winner will be notified on October 30th and posted to our WMA Facebook page.

Enter to Win from the Web Marketing Association

The Web Marketing Association is offering two chances for you to improve your knowledge and understanding of web marketing.  You can register to win either a free conference pass to a major industry leading event, or an insightful book written by the Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine, or both! Deadline to enter is July 7th.  Visit our drawing page to enter.

eTail

August 10 – 13, 2015
Boston, MA

etail-east-2015 eTail launched in 1999, and have been dedicated to supporting the growth of the retail industry ever since.  What started off as 100 people in a room discussing where this sector is headed, has lead to 2000 senior-level eCommerce executives being inspired whilst learning and developing their company as well as their careers. Learn more here.

Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success

web360-primeWin a free copy of the book “Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success” the first book to examine every discipline required for building and sustaining online success.

Today is the Deadline to Enter for free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco

T-210x150-AdTechToday is the final day to enter to win a free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco (May 20-21, 2015) from the Web Marketing Association. ad:tech brings together the digital marketing industry’s brightest minds to share tactics, strategies and insights to apply as soon as you’re back in the office. With tracks covering all of the hottest topics, you’re sure to leave the show with relevant and practical tools to help propel your business. 2015 IAC Award Best of Show winners will also be announced at this event!

Enter the ad:tech Conference drawing here! Winner will be notified by email next week.

Enter to win a free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco

T-210x150-AdTechWin a free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco (May 20-21, 2015) from the Web Marketing Association. ad:tech brings together the digital marketing industry’s brightest minds to share tactics, strategies and insights to apply as soon as you’re back in the office. With tracks covering all of the hottest topics, you’re sure to leave the show with relevant and practical tools to help propel your business. 2015 IAC Award Best of Show winners will also be announced at this event!

Enter the ad:tech Conference drawing here!

Deadline to enter is April 22, 2015. Winner will be notified by email.

Win a free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco

T-210x150-AdTechWin a free full conference pass to ad:tech San Francisco (May 20-21, 2015) from the Web Marketing Association. ad:tech brings together the digital marketing industry’s brightest minds to share tactics, strategies and insights to apply as soon as you’re back in the office. With tracks covering all of the hottest topics, you’re sure to leave the show with relevant and practical tools to help propel your business. 2015 IAC Award Best of Show winners will also be announced at this event!

Enter the ad:tech Conference drawing here!

Deadline to enter is April 22, 2015. Winner will be notified by email.

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